Theater Review 88.
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One Thousand and
Directed by Norman Issa
Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! Everything about this production is heart-lifting: its high spirits, its sly humor, its moments of true pathos, its freshness, its spontaneity, Ofir Hazan's sand-colored costumes, the bells, Fariel Hasibon's choreography, the music by Hen Zimbalista and Ala Abu Amara, the way the nine young actors from both theaters' junior ensembles slip from role to role with virtuoso aplomb, the minimalist set by Ori On, the lighting by Ziv Woloshinâ€¦
To ensure that the message comes across, it's written in the program: Vengeance is a poisonous plant that will choke your heart. To be free, you must forgive.
This One Thousand and One Nights is, therefore, an allegory told through Scheherazade's tales to her vengeance-besotted royal husband until love and forgiveness fill his heart. She starts with "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" - the way Amir Hallal is both murderous robber chief and spirited steed is a joy - and ends with "The Envious Sisters," a tale of hate, hope and redemption.